FLINT, Michigan—If you’ve been to the Flint Cultural Center in the last couple weeks you may have noticed an Airstream trailer parked outside the Flint Institute of Arts — but the real story is inside the trailer.
StoryCorps has partnered with Michigan Radio, the local source for National Public Radio, to collect and record more than 60 interviews with residents in the Flint area inside the Airstream, which is outfitted with a recording studio used to gather stories from local everyday Americans across the country. This year, Flint is its seventh stop on a 10-city tour.
Michigan Radio will air some of the local interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth and excerpts from these stories may also be shared with the world through the project’s popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. With participant permission, all StoryCorps interviews will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
StoryCorps rolled into Flint on Aug. 6 and will remain through Sept. 4. StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.
It’s been 15 years since StoryCorps made a stop in Michigan, and that was in Detroit.
“We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters,” said Cristina Zamarron of Michigan Radio. “At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.”
Participants aren’t necessarily brought in to tell a story, but more to have a conversation. They are encouraged to bring along family, friends and even co-workers to their recording sessions.
Reservations for a recording time can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour, toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or by visiting storycorps.org/stops/mobile-stop-flint-mi